tv [untitled] October 23, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PST
i would like to see the process in play. i agree that there is a possibility of additional hearings. it's not out of line at all. the development agreement will be before us in two weeks. we will take a look at that. certainly trinity plaza did create a distinct known possibility as far as the current vendors are concerned and i would be interested to see any changes to that type of agreement that will be made. director. >> we have an informational hearing scheduled on november 4 specifically on the development agreement. it's the device that one of the speakers talked about the staff getting legal advice.
we have had substantial legal advice that the development agreement, since it is a binding agreement between the developer and the city can address the issues of permanent affordable housing. that will be a specific discussion that will be in front of you in two weeks as well. if you choose not to initiate today, i would ask for specific direction on the types of hearings and the process that you would like to see from here on out. president miguel: commissioner moore. commissioner moore: i would like to hear from the project applicant rather than from staff of why this project is being rushed through. i would be all open to understand and support, but this particular project is thundering down the railroad track amidst every else we're doing. i mean if you look at today of what crossed our table today here, i don't think i have to repeat it and i do personally feel they don't do any justice to a project which has lots of
promises, fantastic opportunities, but why isn't it done in a measured way including in a sequence of steps which are appropriate to such a project. i am only asking that. i sat in the camp for treasure island for 10 years. it was a step by step process which layered in all of the reasons and created a project which at least had a consensus and the basic understanding and support in the community. this one doesn't. and because i don't know all of its intricacies, i personally do not believe i can jump in and say i support initiation. that is asking too much from me personally. president miguel: commissioner olague. commissioner lee: i just want to -- vice president olague: i just want to say that historically, the issue that i had as commissioner sugaya pointed out, we didn't receive a lot of analysis from staff in terms of how this does or does not
relate to the policies the city has laid out in terms of housing or even any reference to the m.t.a. or anything else. what happens here all the time is that we have never initiated something with the date of intended approval where that schedule has gone off track. i have never seen it. it didn't happen with any project that i have ever witnessed here. i think we need more time for this. i really do. even if it means going through each of these and having some actual for discussion, more analysis, that would be a start for me. commissioner moore: or a good presentation where you can ask questions. vice president olague: members of the public allowed to be present and that sort of thing. again, we have never really --
i have never experienced a project where we have done that, even with the others, there were more hearings on a lot of these biggers projects, hunters point shipyard, love it or hate it, we had additional hearings. i think just given the response that i'm hearing from a lot of members of the public, there are assurances that people need that kind of only be raised not so much through an approval hearing, but through hearings on different aspects of the project. president miguel: commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: a few comments. first of all, i think it's important that when we talk about community support that he make sure we're talking about the entire community. i live in that area of the city and there are people that have talked to me about it. there are many hearings in neighborhood groups and there is a lot of support and i think the community is a broad group of people.
so, i think that's the first thing, perhaps having a hearing out there may not be the worst thing, but certainly i think it's important that we get a good representation of all of the people who are involved in the project including those who live in the proximity of the project that may not actually live on the project site itself. and then the other question i would have for the other commissioners, i think if we initiate, i have heard, well, we need to have some hearings. the question i have is how many hearings do you want to have. for example, commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i believe that the team who designed this project is skilled enough to take two or three topics which are related into one hearing, be given sufficient time to present and respond to questions and answers. i could do it with two meetings. i would probably say there should be an introduction into the basic structure of the development agreement. i have a couple of questions relative to the length of time frame. i'm very concerned that a development agreement spanning
30 years goes far beyond any out of the box thinking any of us can do. i'm not at a point where i can think 30 years ahead, perhaps you can. there are questions like that i would like a soft touch introduction into how you're structuring it, what your objectives are that we can support you. this commission is not here to ding this project. i need to say that loud and clear. this project just needs to be brought into the basic procedural kind of similarities to what we have done on other large projects, that's all. >> thank you, commissioner. well, whatever is the will of the commission is fine, if we feel two or three hearings would be appropriate, i think that would be fine. we had a lot of hearings. there was a demand for hearings on hunters point and we had quite a few of those. sometimes the people didn't show up, but we had the hearings anyway. i think that it's wise that we do this because we want the
public's questions answered. so with the consent of staff and development, community involved in this, we can schedule those and consistent with and and these have to be herald before we take any action. this has been going on for quite a while. it's been a few years that this has been in process. this has not come up overnight. i have been in a lot of meetings over the last few years with discussions of this project in the neighborhood. i think the outreach has been extremely good. maybe there haven't been as many hearings here at the planning commission. we have had two so far. could i talk to perhaps mr. yarney, could you weigh in on that? i think commissioner moore had some questions on this and perhaps we can know a little bit about the scheduling if that is something that can be doable. >> good afternoon, commissioners, michael yarney, economic of workforce
development. i do want to limit my comments by reminding the commissioners and president miguel and vice president olague that several months ago, the planning department and the project sponsor had requested to do a series of additional informational presentations. it comes at somewhat of a surprise to us because that was an early request that was made on our part precisely to avoid this exact circumstance that we are apparently confronting today, which is some commissioners feeling they don't have adequate information. there is a lot of information. i will say that all staff were anxious to share and there is a lot to go over. i myself have expressed this concern repeatedly previously because it is, i think nobody is going to pretend this is not a complex set of documents and there is a lot to discuss. i do want to convey that because i think a lot of us who have been putting a lot of hours into this are feeling some measure of concern just
because we were under the impression that those informational presentations were not wanted. we are happy, more than happy to give those. on that topic, on november 4, it's my intention working with planning department staff to go through in great detail the mechanics, the structure of the development agreement beginning with an overview of how they're used in california, the length or period of years that one sees for these things, why one would want a long period of years particularly with a large scale infrastructure investment of what is proposed at parkmerced. and then take you through all a development phase application would be reviewed by all city staff and ultimately approved, how individual design review applications for each building or community improvement would be reviewed and take you through the end of the buildout
of the project and we'll do this through a series -- you have a copy of the development agreement that was distributed today, i believe, at 2:00 per your request, president miguel. we will also break down the development agreement into a series of flow charts to demystify it. it is an 80-page legal document. i would not call it easy reading. i'm more than happy to do that. and we work extensively with the city attorney's office and with others on the language surrounding both the tenant relocation plan and the g.m. r. requirements and we continue to consult with the experts in the city's attorney's office and the rent board. we have met with staff attorneys and the executive director of the rent board. we have collected all of their feedback and incorporated it into the draft that you have that was distributed today and we will continue to work with those agencies. it is our hope as well now that
we have the draft distributed and it is public that we can also sit down with the tenants rights advocates that spoke today and go through in detail the program as it's laid out. i will assure you, we would never promote or pursue an agreement that we think is going to put tenants on the street or going to jeopardize long-term tenants and their rights. it is not our intention and nothing in this development agreement, to my knowledge, does that. that is not the developer's intention and certainly not our intention or anyone who is working on the project. finally, i would like to make one more point which is a considerable amount of staff input from other agencies is involved, too. all of the documents that were distributed in that large packet, all of those plan documents have received extensive review and input and edits from i think at this point six agencies, sfmta,
sfbpw, the p.u.c., the planning department, the fire department, department of the environment, to some measure the review from the mayor's office of housing and the rent board and we have been in touch with state agencies as well. so there is a ton of staff and city input that is represented in those documents and i did want to bring that up in particular because commissioner sugaya i think raised the concern that staff had not done independent analysis and i would like to point out that the staff has been involved in reviewing and editing all of these documents and we would not accept that without such input. commissioner antonini: thank you. i make a suggestion that you work with mr. switzky and project sponsor and come up
with something that would be acceptable as far as these informational hearings and work with president miguel and vice president olague and any other commissioners to be able to put together a schedule that would be acceptable and we initiate that today and you work with the parties i named to get a schedule put together for the hearings. >> if the commission would like, we would include representatives of the respective agencies on the various topics. >> sure. >> what we'll do then is forward, if it's appropriate, i can forward to the planning director. we can do it together, but we can do it by topic area if that is what the commission would like. i think we could do it by the plan documents. i guess we can have this conversation offline. >> one of the questions i have is whether the commissioner wants to keep the november 4 hearing date, whether it would
be an informational hearing on the 18th. it would be helpful to know the rough schedule that we're talking about here. >> personally, i would recommend having that. i hear so many comments made about it. president miguel: we should keep the hearing on the 4th. >> we don't want to take anything away. it's wise to do that it's not all inclusive but you know what is being proposed. >> you will have had it for two weeks prior to the 4th. president miguel: i'm sorry, you're not in order. commissioner moore: if i may ask, the development agreement is the legal packaging of a project describing the interaction between the developer and the city, right? without having the full detail which we are all definitely
want to have, can we follow you because i would like to see somebody, perhaps mr. switzky can make a decision as to what the best grouping of topics is. there is many ways to skin a cat but there is a layering way to do that. i would rather be fully knowledgeable in the plan. i come from a good knowledge of a solid plan, i have a much more ability to say this is really solid, this sounds good. it's kind of like building a structure without knowing what the foundations are. i would greatly appreciate if you would give us the opportunity, the least i'm talking for myself not being a lawyer, if we can perhaps have the other meetings beforehand. >> since we're not going in any kind of order, i'm just going to jump in. for me, initiation sends a message that we're ready to accept all of this stuff that's
in here, maybe not accept it, but at least we have read it all and we feel comfortable with it. commissioner antonini, i am voicing my opinion here. and that's my problem with initiation at this point. i have questions about transportation, there are questions about all of this stuff that was raised before and, you know, staff may have given some input here, but craig hartman signed this thing, all right. is this the city's vision for this particular area? i don't think so. i think it's the developer's vision. if the city's vision the same, i would like to know if that is true and how that affects this particular document. i think that commissioner olague's statement, i forget of exactly how she put it, but if the vision is here -- what is the city's vision for housing out here? >> commissioner, we never
prepared the document -- commissioner sugaya: the implication is staff has gone through it and offered it and things have been changed. >> we are the authors of the development agreement. commissioner sugaya: i'm not talking about the development agreement. >> we are never the ones to prepare architectural drawings in proposed project. commissioner sugaya: we have no staff analysis. >> that's because this is only initiation. commissioner sugaya: i don't want to initiate it unless i hear things from the staff. >> the question is assuming we're not going to initiate today, we will keep a hearing on november 4. i would like specific direction if it's on the development agreement or another aspect of the project and we will come back to you with specific recommendations on the topic for future hearings. commissioner moore: take the vision plan, take the sustainability plan and the guidelines as one package followed by transportation and
infrastructure or which ever way the team, staff, and since the architect feels it best can describe and can most convincingly describe the project, that is what i would suggest. president miguel: if i'm reading the commission correctly, and i don't always, i'm making a presumption that the development agreement should not be heard on the 4th, that the other items should be scheduled first. and after that, the development agreement. am i -- commissioner moore: you are correct in my interpretation. >> sure, you know. honestly, i think what part of the problem at least is -- what i guess i wanted to clarify, too, for the public, when i was approached by staff --
vice president olague: i was told that the developer wanted to meet with different commission members to discuss the project. what i felt was implying -- i said what the issues that we raised at the hearing were issues that related to the affordability piece, to the piece around the development agreement and to the rental units. if that's not what the focus of this discussion that the developers want to have with me personally is about, i'm not interested in meeting with them. i'm not being interested in being sold on a project right now. i want the specifics around the development agreement. that's what i said to the staff at that time. so it wasn't like i was told -- it was not presented to me totality that, oh, the developer want to come before the commission to have meetings with the public so the public can hear about this project and discuss it and talk about the phasing of the project which was an issue that we had raised before. there were issues about the specifics around the project that related to the phasing and other aspects of the project that had been raised. so when i felt like i was just
going to be sitting there and being sold on a project that none of these issues around that we had been raising here, i wasn't interested in sitting there until these these issues had been resolved. that is why at that time, that is how it was presented. that is why i had concerns about having the meetings with the partners. i knew we would end up with this sort of a thing, which if you look at kraft page 20, it does read like -- i don't know. i will not go through it now. if we have these hearings, where some of these issues are -- they will not be resolved, obviously, and those are issues that will be heard at the board of supervisors, people feel more at ease in sang, come back in a
month for the approval, or whatever. that is all. that is kind of what -- looking at what we have here, and knowing we have an approval in less than 30 days, i don't feel this is ready for prime time yet. president miguel: what i'm trying to find out, would you like to hear the first of hearings on the development agreement, or would you like that after hearings on more of the specifics of the plan? commissioner olague: the order is not -- a father wrote -- if others have an opinion -- want to hear both. president miguel: i agree. >> if i could make a comment? there has been concern on the topic of renter protection and that issue. that is dealt with in the
development agreement. it is a reasonable concern about that not being spelled out in writing. we are concerned about prolonging the discussion so that people have some protections. maybe we could do some overview of the project and get into that, and maybe deal with that specific issue. we have the concern where some people do not feel it is being addressed. i would like to have some other hearing -- commissioner sugaya: i would like to have some other hearings first. also, with respect to the housing issue, it would seem we want to consider and hear about the plan's relationship to housing element.
commissioner olague's concern, before we delve into how it will be implemented. we have not discussed what the percentages are. agreeable? so, you know, it would seem that the kind of thing commissioner moore was talking about in terms of tackling these documents with staff input from both planning and other agencies -- i would like to include a reservation in that. this is a historic resource. we have not heard much about that today. it would seem that that would be an integral part of any presentation that would be made to us. if we could schedule those in some orderly manner, then that -- commissioner moore: i would like to suggest a compromise position that addresses that goal.
i would like to hear your being present -- this presentation about the physical plant and help educate us toward those things, which ultimately come in your mind, drove into the basic structure of the development agreement. in that candid dialogue, you are approaching it as a professional with a vast background in development. you know the planning, planning policy, and it is a way to build buildings. i would like to hear you be present in these meetings to advise the commission. this is something we are strongly concerned about. it would be very good to have you present here, and also start explaining the position in which you ultimately take those concerns in the development agreement. that would be helpful to me.
there is a real correlation between the practicality of a physical plant and the theoretical legal nature of the development. president miguel: commissioner antonini? >> thank you. i am delighted to do that. my concern is that we need to start somewhere, with an overview of the entire project. i would not want to do that divorced from some brief overview of the development agreement. i would like to suggest some joint presentation, perhaps, as a starter. i would like to have that on the agenda, where we can both give you an overview of the components of the plan. commissioner moore: i love the idea. it just has to be balanced. it can be very strong and
convincing. none of us are lawyers. we aren't. to pretend like we could fast track these things with you -- our support occurs when we fully understand the plan in all of its details. balance it, and you have an open door to do that kind of thing. >> we would like to request your permission to make that kind of presentation. it could be a hybrid presentation. it could be an overview of the development agreement. this is my educated guess. when we are finally able to present like this, a lot of the concerns we are hearing today, i hope a lot of them will be addressed. there has been an incredible amount of work from all of the agencies involved here, and a lot of careful thought. i am not suggesting there is not more to be done. commissioner moore: we don't
have anything against this project. president miguel: thank you. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: what i'm hearing from the commission -- correct me if i'm wrong -- there is an agreement that we would have an informational presentation on both the development agreement and on the project itself, without necessarily any action being taken. there would be no action. you would be able to see both things and have another hearing, at least one more informational hearing after that. the question i have this, where does initiation fit into that? is that enough to satisfy commissioners to initiate? do we do the initiation after those hearings? maybe i could have some answers from the other commissioners on this. commissioner moore: the first thing i would say, i would like to pick up on the hybrid presentation. that is important to me. that requires work that has
never been done. it allows us to comprehend the project. the second one is my own preference, if you are going around, i would prefer to have initiation following these presentations. >> is that your feeling? commissioner sugaya: that is fine with me. commissioner olague: i have -- should we continue? this is an action item on the agenda. what is the appropriate way to deal with that? do we continue to a later date? is there a suggested date? the fourth and the 18th?
would we consider the initiation on the 18th? >> i would like staff to take a stab on how they feel they can cover all of these documents, whether it is -- i understand the initial meeting will be the hybrid kind of presentation. we will get the overview and get into parts of the physical plant. -- plan. it may take more than one other meeting to go over the design structure and all of that. i don't want to go beyond the initial meeting. maybe two beyond that. it would be perfectly adequate. >> would you continue to early december? >> yes. >> could i have a date for continuance? do we have the first or second week in december? >> your